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Human reproduction is the most basic of human functions and is the foundation of our very existence. When considering the bodily mechanisms involved, from the delicacy of the interacting endocrine network to the wonder of the cyclical changes in the ovary and uterus and the mechanism of sperm production, it is a constant source of amazement that the integration needed to produce another human being does not go wrong more often.
One of modern healthcare's most controversial areas, reproductive medicine is an emerging discipline that fosters hugely divergent opinions on topics such as laboratory techniques, clinical management and ethical considerations. Highlighting over 50 contentious topics in reproductive medicine, this book presents expertly argued opinions are presented for and against, often with diametrically opposing views about management. Debates such as these are being increasingly used as learning tools, helping participants develop their critical thinking skills and showing that context is vital when making decisions. Issues discussed include limits on IVF provision, ethical queries about sex selection, embryology, and ovarian stimulation. Authors are authorities in their field, combining years of experience with fresh and innovative ideas to structure their arguments. Readers will gain an insight into topical controversies, critically evaluating the different sides to enhance their own clinical practice.
Folic acid should be taken at a daily dose of 400 mcg or, in those who are obese, 5 mg. There is debate about the restriction of fertility treatment to women who are overweight, although there is no doubt that obesity has a significant adverse impact on reproductive outcome. It influences not only the chance of conception but also the response to fertility treatment and increases the risk of miscarriage, congenital anomalies and pregnancy complications . The British Fertility Society guidance suggests that treatment should be deferred until the BMI is less than 35 kg/m2, although in those with more time (e.g. less than 37 years, normal ovarian reserve) a weight reduction to a BMI of less than 30 kg/m2 is preferable . Even a moderate weight loss of 5–10% of body weight can be sufficient to restore fertility and improve metabolic parameters.
Conventional ovulation induction (OI) treatments are highly effective in achieving pregnancy when anovulation is the only factor in a couple’s conception delay. Fertility declines with female age and lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol intake and body weight negatively influence the success of treatment. Careful planning and monitoring of treatment is necessary to avoid complications such as multiple pregnancy and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
The diagnosis of hyperandrogenism is dependent on the accuracy and precision of measurement of the clinical features and the laboratory androgen assays. Hyperandrogenism in the context of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a term used loosely to encompass both the clinical features of acne, hirsuties and androgenic alopecia and the laboratory evidence of hyperandrogenaemia. The relationship between acne and biochemical hyperandrogenaemia is well established but the number of women with acne in unselected populations is so great that it makes the link with PCOS unconvincing, particularly since the incidence of acne seems to be greater than that of PCOS. Anovulation is assessed by measuring the serum progesterone during the mid-luteal phase. Consecutive series of women with either a single symptom or various combinations of symptoms would be subjected to formal receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to determine the optimal diagnostic characteristics.